Michael Andretti Looking At Starting an NHRA Team

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Michael Andretti Looking At Starting an NHRA Team Alastair Staley - Getty Images

Move over, Tony Stewart.

NHRA drag racing just might be attracting another household-name, a motorsports mogul and a multi-generational one, at that.

ABB FIA Formula E team owner Michael Andretti said Saturday at the worldwide fully electric racing series’ lone U.S. event of the year at Portland International Raceway that he just might expand his own global footprint with a venture into the straightline sport.

During a media roundtable before Saturday’s first of two Portland E Prix races, Andretti said he’s open to fielding an NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series team.

“I'm looking at it. Yeah. Yeah, I'd love to be in drag racing,” Andretti said. “I’ve got a lot of good friends in drag racing, and we're talking a few things. We’ll see.”


His son, veteran NTT IndyCar Series (and defunct XRS Racing series) driver Marco Andretti has attended drag races. But he said he isn’t interested in following in the footsteps of his dad’s first cousin, the late John Andretti, who had a stint in drag racing among his achievements. “Not on your life,” Marco Andretti said.

Michael Andretti said he’s building a portfolio of marketing partners to offer a variety of levels and of disciplines of involvement, and a chance for some cross-pollination.

“That's what we're trying to do. That's why we're all these different sports. If a sponsor wants to get into auto racing, we want to say that we offer 'em whatever they want: ‘Where do you want to be? Do you want to be in sports cars? Maybe IndyCar? You want to be in Extreme E, Formula E, Supercars?’ So it’s nice to have that in the portfolio so you can offer to sponsor something different,” he said.

Alluding briefly to his quest to field a Formula 1 team, Andretti said, “Obviously, the other thing for us, that would be the pinnacle. We get the F1 thing, then that completes pretty much what we want to do. So yeah, it's important to us.”

He said if he were to explore Formula 2, Formula 3, or sports-car racing, “that’s just expanding our portfolio. It's not getting rid of one for another.” He indicated that his two-car Formula E operation eventually will move from its current Banbury, Oxfordshire, England, location into Andretti Global’s new 48,000-square foot U.K. facility at Silverstone that was designed to house the Andretti Cadillac Formula 1 enterprise.

“Eventually the plan is to move it there and hopefully have a Formula 3, Formula 2 team there, as well. Maybe one day. So it'll be big enough that we can house all those things,” Andretti said. “That’s a couple of years down the road. That's the plan once we get the F1 thing down.”